NIHR CYP MedTech partnered with the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences to host the first robotics in paediatrics and child health showcase. The showcase took place at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, and was well attended by surgeons, medics, allied health care professionals, academics, industry, and students.
Academic teams from the UK and the Netherlands showcased their innovative work via a series of short talks and interactive laboratory demonstrations.
The presentations began with Professor Paul Dimitri introducing NIHR CYP MedTech and opening the showcase. Professor Tony Prescott began the series of invited talks, and gave an impressive overview of the Sheffield Robotics Lab. Next, Dr Dana Damian gave an overview of the work being carried out by Sheffield Biomedical Robotics Lab. Dr Renee van den Heuvel and Rianne Jansen from the Netherlands provided an update on their work with social robots ZORA, Pleo, and KASPAR for children with developmental disabilities, and Professor Luc De Witte spoke about his work the Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare. The presentations were concluded by Dr Alessandro Di Nuovo who outlined his work using humanoid robots to interact with children with autism spectrum conditions and intellectual disabilities.
The interactive demonstrations followed on from the talks, and attendees were able to interact with social robots MiRo, Pepper, Pleo, Nao, and KASPAR. Dr Dana Damian and the Sheffield Biomedical Robotics Lab also showcased in vivo regenerative robotics for tissue repair, ingestible robots for gastrointestinal wound treatment, and elastic actuators.
In summary, the presentations and demonstration were engaging, and attendees were excited to hear of recent advancements and future developments in the field of paediatric healthcare robotics.The showcase demonstrated the importance of this robotics in improving the health and well-being of children and young people.